Section 3.1: Creating Network Connections

In Windows Server 2003 you can create number of network connections. These include local area network (LAN) connections, remote connections, Virtual Private Network (VPN) connections and direct connections. All these connections are created in the network connections folder.

A Local Area Network is also referred to as an intranet and has client support, such as Client for Microsoft Networks and Client Services for NetWare; services, such as Files and Printer Sharing; and user network protocols. A network protocol is a set of rules and conventions for computers use to communicate over a network. Windows Server 2003 supports:

• TCP/IP, which is the default protocol and is installed automatically in Windows Server 2003;

• NetBEUI, which is a non-routable protocol suited for small networks of less than ten computers;

• PPPoE, which is used to connect individual client computers to a Internet service provider (ISP) over a single broadband connection;

• SOAP, which enables one application to use another application's services across a TCP/IP network;

• EAP and Protected EAP, which is used to securely support wireless network access points (WAP)

• AppleTalk, which allows a Windows Server 2003-based computer to communicate on Apple Macintosh networks;

• NWLink (IPX/SPX), which allows a Windows Server 2003-based computer to communicate on Novell NetWare networks; and

• DLC, which is a non-routable protocol that allows a Windows Server 2003-based computer to communicate to an IBM host.

You can also specify the protocol binding order to optimize network performance by placing the protocol that is used the most at the top of the protocol bindings list. The computer will then attempt to use this protocol first when a user attempts to make a connection to a server.

• Remote connections allow for mobile users to dial into their corporate LAN and are also used to establish a connection to the Internet via an Internet Service Provider (ISP).

• Virtual Private Networks (VPN) use a tunneling protocol to secure a private network that is established across a public network. Windows Server 2003 supports two tunneling protocols that can be used to create a VNP connection:

• Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP), which is a TCP/IP protocol that can encapsulate TCP/IP, IPX/SPX, or NetBEUI protocols. PPTP tunnels must be authenticated by using the same authentication mechanisms as PPP connections; and

• L2TP, which is a combination of PPTP and Layer 2 Forwarding. L2PT does not provide data encryption but relies on Internet Protocol Security (IPSec), which is group of services and protocol that supports the secured transfer of information across an IPinternetwork.